Articles on Big data

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Shifts in our communication infrastructures have reshaped the very possibilities of social order driven by markets and commercial exploitation. Marc Smith/flickr

The price of connection: ‘surveillance capitalism’

Capitalism has become focused on expanding the proportion of social life that is open to data collection and processing – as if the social itself has become the new target of capitalism’s expansion.
A big data analysis indicates the focus on service line replacement may only go so far at fixing Flint’s water issues. George Thomas/flickr

How big data and algorithms are slashing the cost of fixing Flint’s water crisis

By tapping into diverse data sources in Flint, researchers can predict vulnerable homes and even have found that home water service lines may not be the biggest contributor to lead poisoning.
An increasingly diverse array of geospatial, network and time-series data is being used to generate new perspectives and insights. Here we see air traffic in England and Wales visualised over satellite images. https://www.flickr.com/photos/natspressoffice/

Quantamentals, signal surfing and fast walkers: mapping the rise of weird data

People in all manner of professions from economists and real estate agents to stockbrokers and doctors are beginning to recognise the huge potential and power of unconventional data.
There could be plenty of demand from the space tour guides of the near future. Flickr/Pedro Vezini

Want to be a space tour guide? Apply here… in 2025

Space tourists will need someone to show them around. This is just one of several jobs that currently don't exist but are expected to be a reality with in a decade.
Imagine where working together on open data can get us? Puzzle pieces image via www.shutterstock.com.

Expanding citizen science models to enhance open innovation

This method of crowdsourcing science legwork is ready to expand into other disciplines – and maybe the amateurs themselves can start calling some of the shots.
Predicting whether a child will commit a crime before their 18th birthday is fraught with problems. Shutterstock/Tomsickova Tatyana

Can we predict who will turn to crime?

Machine learning is being used to see if it's possible to predict whether someone will commit a crime some time in the future. But does this risk condemning people for a crime they haven’t committed?
Perhaps your career path is paved with big data. Steve Johnson

Big data jobs are out there – are you ready?

Most industries tap into big data these days – meaning more and more jobs are opening up in this field. Here's some background on the skills and qualities you'd use as a modern big data professional.
Jane Jacobs holds up documentary evidence at a 1961 press conference during the campaign to save the West Village. Wikimedia Commons

What might Jane Jacobs say about smart cities?

In an age of data-driven urban science, we need to remember how Jane Jacobs gave voice to the multiple languages, meanings, experiences and knowledge systems of a vibrant city.
Not all data are the same. Image sourced from Shutterstock.com

Data access inquiry casts the net far too wide

The Productivity Commission's inquiry into access and use of public and private data risks failing to achieve anything meaningful.

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